Monday, November 5, 2012

Quiet time

A while back, in a desperate attempt to regain control of my household, I created some quiet time activity boxes. The goal was to have one activity per box that was fairly self-explanatory, could be enjoyed by one kid at a time, alone in his or her room, for an unsupervised 20 minutes or so. It had to be cheap, easy to unpack and put away, and fit in a plastic shoe box. My activities have been a huge hit, and the kids actually get excited when tell them to chose an activity and banish them to their rooms for a bit while I clean up breakfast or prepare dinner or (heaven forbid!) go to the bathroom by myself. They also work great for when a particular child is getting a little out of hand and needs to spend a few minutes in isolation to regain composure.

Even Jacob gets in on the action, which is a lovely perk of the activity boxes that I had not predicted. Although his method of playing with them is not what I envisioned, it still accomplishes the goal of getting him out from underfoot for a few moments when needed. There's only one box that he likes, and it's the one full of foam blocks that I made by cutting up a bunch of kitchen sponges. I'm certain its his favorite because he can build huge towers with them and knock them over with as much force as he wants without getting into any trouble. (The foam block--unlike its ugly counterpart, the wooden block--makes no noise, leaves no marks, and has zero potential to break windows or leave bruises.)

The excitement lasts anywhere from 5 to 6 minutes, at which point he laughs hysterically, shoves them into a pile, and moves on to his favorite alone-in-his-room activity: removing all of the baby wipes from their container. Thankfully, he's a very orderly child, so after he removes the wipes, he lines them up on his floor, folds them in quarters, stacks them neatly and brings them downstairs to me. What he wants me to do with them at that point, I have yet to figure out.

But hey, at least he stayed quiet.

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